Army H.e.a.l.t.h. Arsenal
December, 2016

Lose It! is a website and app that are based on the proven principles of calorie tracking and peer support for healthy, sustainable weight loss. The free website and app are designed for counting calories and logging exercise while being surrounded by a community of supportive people that will help you stick to your goals.

The app is compatible with a long list of other fitness devices and apps, including Nike+ FuelBand, Fitbit devices, and Jawbone UP, so you can import your calorie intake and balance it effortlessly against your calorie expenditure.

Logging food with Lose It is easier than ever. All you have to do is snap a picture of your food and Lose it! recognizes the food, making it quick and easy for you to log.

The Lose It! app is available for free in the app store for iPhone and Android

Sleep Corner

Is it OK to sleep in on the weekend?

When we frequently and consistently do not get enough sleep, we start to accumulate a “sleep debt”. This may leave you wondering, “can I repay my sleep debt on the weekend?”. The simple answer to this question is no.

According to a study published in the Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism, sleeping in on the weekend can be bad for your health. The study compared the health effects of people that slept in on the weekend versus those who’s wake time more closely resembled their weekday behavior.

The results showed that those who slept in more on the weekend were more likely to have lower levels of HDL (“good”) cholesterol, higher amounts of triglycerides and other fatty substances in their blood, higher weight gain, and more symptoms associated with onset of diabetes.

The authors theorize that straying too far from the body’s natural Circadian Rhythm of sleep is what leads to the detrimental health effects experienced by those who slept in on the weekend.

If you usually sleep in on the weekend more than one hour past your weekday wake time, try to change the way you pay your “sleep debt”. Instead of sleeping in on the weekend, try to go to bed earlier during the week. As far as naps, the research is mixed. The National Sleep Foundation, suggests that taking a short nap in the afternoon is one solution. While Harvard Health, suggests that naps are a “no-no”.

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Reasons to start your “New Year’s Resolution Early

Why wait until after the holidays to start feeling like a healthier version of yourself? The secret to keeping your New Year’s Resolution is getting an early start. By starting ahead of January 1st, you are going to be better prepared and, therefore, have a higher chance of reaching your goals.

The “Old” Way Doesn’t Work for Most People

About half of Americans usually make a New Year’s Resolution. However, only about 8% report successfully sticking to their resolution. There are many reasons why resolutions fail. One reason is that by the time January 1st rolls around, people are looking for a quick-fix way to shed holiday weight gain. The unfortunate truth is that there is no “quick-fix”. Achieving your personal health and fitness goals takes planning, effort, and time.

You Can Accomplish a lot between Now and the New Year

A healthy rate of weight loss is about two pounds per week for the “average” person. This rate of weight loss is both doable and maintainable. There are four weeks left until the new year, so that’s 8 potential pounds lost if you start this week. Additionally, you will likely avoid gaining any holiday weight as well.

Even if your goal isn’t to lose weight, the rule still applies. By starting now, you will already have four weeks of under your belt by the time the new year rolls around. If your goal is to be more active, for example, you could take advantage of black Friday sales and stock up on active wear. If your goal is to eat healthier, you could revise your Thanksgiving and Christmas menu to include healthier meals. The possibilities are endless.

What to do

The best way to reach your goals in 2017 is to start now. Focus on one SMART goal at a time. SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Rewarding, and Time specific.

I will work out more. I will work out for at least 30 minutes 3x per week.

I will eat healthier. I will have one serving of fruit and vegetables at each meal.

I will never eat dessert again. I will limit dessert to once per week.

I deserve ice cream if I workout. I will buy some new workout music if I workout at least 3x this week.

Time Oriented
I will lose weight. I will lose two pounds per week.

By setting SMART goals this week, you are setting yourself up for success in reaching your new goal(s). Having a SMART goal will help you stay focused and on track through the holidays. Don't wait until January 1st to start feeling healthier and making better lifestyle choices.

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Ask An Expert

Q: The holidays are the busiest time of year for my family. How can we find time for exercise when we are already low on time?

A: Finding time to stay active during the holiday season is a common problem that often leads to people being more sedentary this time of year. This, combined with higher calorie intake, often leads to unwanted weight gain.

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a form of exercise in which movements are performed quickly and at a high intensity and are interspaced with short breaks. It can be performed in as little as 7 minutes and does not require any equipment. Although, you can use equipment if you want!

Just 7 minutes of HIIT can have a positive impact on cardiovascular fitness, insulin regulation, body weight, body fat, and metabolism. All in all, HITT yields many of the same health benefits as distance or endurance training. Although 7 minutes is the minimum amount of time required to attain benefits from HIIT, in order to meet recommendations for daily physical activity, it is recommended that you repeat the 7 minutes workout 3-4 times. Try breaking up each segment throughout the day. This is just one example of how even the busiest person can find time to exercise!

Mindful Moment

Be mindful while exercising by staying aware of your body, your environment, your breath as an anchor, and your intent.

These mindful exercises will help you to better enjoy and appreciate exercise and your body’s strength.

Bottom Line

Making healthy choices is especially difficult during the holiday season when high calorie dishes are abundant and physical activity may be a low priority. Setting SMART goals is one way to stay focused and avoid unwanted holiday weight gain. By setting your goals now and not waiting until the new year, you are getting a jump start to achieving your goals!

Finding time to exercise is important. Even when you feel too busy or it’s very cold outside, staying active will not only help you reach and maintain your goal weight, but it can also boost your mood and help you sleep better at night. Try to fit physical activity into everyday activities that you already do. Housework, grocery shopping, and mall-walking are all examples of opportunities for exercise.

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Featured Recipe: Santa Party Poppers

Cut each large marshmallow in half. Peel and slice bananas. Cut the top from each strawberry, leaving a flat surface. Melt dark chocolate in microwave (2 mins at 50% power). Make sure to monitor the chocolate, as microwave times and power settings vary greatly.

Pierce one of the halved marshmallows onto the skewer. Followed by a banana slice, another halved marshmallow, a strawberry, and a mini marshmallow. Using a toothpick to dip out the chocolate, make two eyes and a nose. Place red m&m over chocolate nose. Let cool 5 minutes.

  • 2 bananas
  • 4 strawberries
  • 4 red m&ms
  • 4 large marshmallows
  • 4 mini marshmallows
  • 1 oz. dark chocolate
  • 4 wooden skewers
  • Nutrition Information:
    Servings: 4      Calories: 118      Carbs: 24g      Fiber: 2g      Sugar: 15g                Fat: 3g             Protein: 1g         Sodium: 11mg     

    Featured Exercise: Barbell Cross arm squat

    Featured Recipe adapted from Clean & Scentsible.